Ovarian Cyst Removal—Open Surgery
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Ovarian cyst removal is surgery to remove one or more cysts from one or both ovaries. Open surgery uses a large abdominal incision to view the cyst and surrounding tissue. It may be done instead of a laparoscopic surgery if the cyst is large, there are many cysts, or complications happen during a laparoscopic surgery.
Reasons for Procedure
An ovarian cyst may need to be removed if it is:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
An incision will be made in the abdomen. The abdominal muscles will be separated and the abdomen will be opened. Next, the cyst will be removed. A sample of tissue may be removed for testing. If cancer is found, one or both ovaries may be removed. Lastly, stitches will be used to close the abdominal muscles. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the area.
How Long Will It Take?
1 to 2 hours
Will It Hurt?
Some pain is common in the first few days. Medicine and home care help.
Average Hospital Stay
Most people can go home in 2 to 3 days. If there are any problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
Right after the procedure, the staff may:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
It will take up to 2 weeks to fully heal. Physical activity will be limited during this time. Sex will need to be avoided. Ask for help with daily activities and delay your return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
Women's Health Matters
Ovarian cyst. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/ovarian-cyst. Accessed August 26, 2021.
Ovarian cysts. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at:
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Accessed August 26, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 8/26/2021
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